There is a lot of superb contemporary realism being made these days; this article by Allison Malafronte shines light on a gifted individual:
MICHAEL AARON HALL (b. 1975) makes moving memorials and monuments that pay tribute to those who have passed and must not be forgotten. Their stories are told through Hall’s mastery of sculpting, which he has been reﬁning for close to 12 years.
It all began with the encouragement of his artist mother and time spent in the studio of the noted sculptor Avard T. Fairbanks, his great-uncle. Those youthful experiences opened the door for Hall’s natural curiosity and ability to take ﬂight, and as a teenager he not only copied Old Master works but also attempted to paint frescos, ﬁlling the concrete walls of his parents’ basement with trial-and-error experimentation.
It wasn’t until he spent two years living in St. Petersburg, Russia, however, that Hall decided to become a professional artist. Frequenting the Hermitage and the Russian Museum, he was greatly inﬂuenced by the works of both historic and contemporary Russian painters. He consequently studied drawing and painting in Russia brieﬂy before spending several years training under the Swiss artist Patrick Devonas, who encouraged Hall to pursue sculpture full-time.
Today Hall works primarily in bronze, though he did study marble carving brieﬂy in Pietrasanta, Italy, and hopes to devote more time to it in the future. The sculptor has completed important commissions, as well as several personal projects and collaborations. Noteworthy public monuments include The Beckstead Memorial and The Esther Motanic Memorial.
As suggested by such series titles as “Heaven and Earth,” “Divinity,” and “Between Mother and Child,” Hall readily incorporates the spiritual in his subject matter, examining aspects of existence that go beyond the here-and-now.
In Hall’s bas-relief “Sons of Victory,” he retells the story from Mormon scripture involving a generation of boys who ﬁght a war on behalf of their non-violent parents.
“My father was a paciﬁst and greatly opposed war in all forms,” Hall explains. “But my grandfather was a U.S. Army colonel and served in several wars. Each man had a different way of looking at life, and I respect and admire them both for their convictions. I believe that although we as humans can easily ﬁnd divisions among one another, if we can learn to accept people as individuals, we will ﬁnd that we are more united than we think.”
Learn more about the artist: michaelaaronhall.com
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